Macedonia gained its independence peacefully from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece's objection to the new state's use of what it considered a Hellenic name and symbols delayed international recognition, which occurred under the provisional designation of "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia." In 1995, Greece lifted a 20-month trade embargo and the two countries agreed to normalize relations, but the issue of the name remained unresolved and negotiations for a solution are ongoing. Since 2004, the United States and 133 other nations have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia. Some ethnic Albanians, angered by perceived political and economic inequities, launched an insurgency in 2001 that eventually won the support of the majority of Macedonia's ethnic Albanian population and led to the internationally-brokered Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the fighting and established guidelines for the creation of new laws that enhanced the rights of minorities. Fully implementing the Framework Agreement, maintaining momentum on democratic reforms, and stimulating economic growth and development continue to be challenges for Macedonia, although progress has been made over the past several years.
CIA World Factbook
Macedonia began printing stamps in 1992. Printing
of Mary stamps began in 2002.
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